bbc.co.uk
Home
Explore the BBC

24 September 2014
Banner - Talk Norfolk

BBC Homepage
England
» Norfolk
News
Sport
Junior Football
Travel
Weather
Entertainment
Message Board
Video Nation
Sense of Place
In Pictures
Webcams
Features
Faith
Nature
Kids
Blast
BBC Local Radio
Site Contents 

Contact Us

wind turbine.

Wind farms
The UK's biggest offshore wind farm, which is planned near Great Yarmouth, has been approved by Energy Minister Brian Wilson.

Add your comment

See also:
BBC News


Can I congratulate energy minister Brian Wilson on approving the development of the UK's biggest offshore windfarm planned for the Great Yarmouth coastline.

Wind power is the most viable proposition that should be seriously considered when making any future decisions on energy production.

A 1994 study conducted by the DTI said that the UK could 'quite happily' meet 'nearly all' of its electricity demand from offshore windfarms.

I would imagine that by combining offshore windfarms with onshore windfarms and other forms of alternative energy we could quite happily meet all of the UK energy demand. May I silence some of the critical outpourings that have been posted on this site by dispelling a few myths and clarifying my opinions on some of these issues.

Firstly, in response to comments from Nick Sampson and John Kendall regarding their opinions that we should concentrate on insulating houses rather than on wind energy and that we should consider electricity saving devices before moving towards wind energy: surely these solutions should be integrated with developing sustainable energy resources as they are both steps in the same direction.

Secondly, in response to Nick Sampson's comment that wind energy is the 'only' form of energy generation that we cannot control: we cannot control the supply of fossil fuels on a long-term basis, they will eventually run out and we will be unable to replace them and the major incidents at Chernobyl, Windscale and Three Mile Island prove that nuclear energy can spiral quickly out of our control.

In response to Dennis Azevedo's comment that wind turbines must slow the wind: well yes, I am sure that this is true, but also true is the fact that any structure that moves as a direct result of the wind must also slow the wind - therefore tall trees must have the same impact as they sway in the breeze, therefore I do not think research into the environmental impact of wind turbines in this context is necessary.

Ian Hamilton's comments that tourists visiting windfarms create pollution also comes under my scrutiny. True, visitors in their cars are creating carbon emissions.

However, visitors to wind turbines can often be educated or informed at the turbine site of the benefits of wind energy. They can use their visit as a tool in forming an informed opinion on this issue and it can inspire them to investigate this issue further.

By educating people about the benefits of wind technology the technologies can be brought into action much quicker, as approval is more forthcoming.

Also as wind turbines become more and more commonplace they will lose their novelty value on the tourist trail.

And finally, D Hughes of North Wales should have money deducted from his electricity bill if a wind turbine built close by causes him any inconvenience - however, anyone using the 'green energy' from wind farms should also have their electricity bills reduced as an incentive for using it!

CHRIS SMITH, CAISTER-ON-SEA

line break.

I live in California, USA, where some of the first wind farms where set up. I am in favour of wind turbines.

I've seen the wind farm in the San Gorgonio Pass (Near Palm Springs) many times. Modern wind turbines produce energy without pollution or spilling radioactive particles in the air like the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

You can visit http://www.ucsusa.org/energy/w01.html for a comparison of wind and coal power and check out the impacts of other fossil fuel energy sources. The new windmills can produce about 1.5 megawatts of energy at about 15mph.

They can operate at wind speeds between 10 and 60mph.

Yes, pollution is made when turbines are manufactured, however a modern wind turbine will repay all the pollution it made back in about 6 months.

Wind turbines are built to last 20-30 years. The wind turbines are very quiet, the sound of wind in my ears was louder than they where.

I do not find them ugly either. Often I see people near the road taking pictures of these machines. So wind turbines don't harm tourism.

I think they should put up more wind turbines because the technology is better now and it doesn't pollute.

MJ SMITH, CALIFORNIA

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

line break.

I am doing a project on windfarms at school, and I have learnt that wind farms are indeed very popular in other various parts of the world, like California. So why are people objecting to having wind as a source of energy here?

LAURA GUTTRIDGE, RINGWOOD

line break.

As a design engineer and a parent, I am totally in favour of greener forms of energy being constructed in Norfolk. Would those who are complaining about wind farms and wind generators like to take a visit or live next to either Windscale or the muck power station near Thetford (for instance), they could then compare all these types of energy manufacture and maybe make a more reasoned decision. The muck power stations use kerosene to generate enough heat to burn the muck and Windscale is a nuclear station and we all know about the damage that stuff does - remember Chernobyl??? All these original types of power generation are filthy and cause terrible damage to the environment. The power and CO2 emissions needed to make one wind generator is miniscule compared to that used to make say one gas or chicken muck power station or indead a nuclear station. When will the general public WAKE UP and start to realise it's not our world we are damaging but our children's and their offsprings. We need a pollution revolution and burning isn't the way to do it. There is never a time when the whole country does not have wind so the more wind farms and generators we have, the more we can get rid of the other forms of power generators. I know which type of generator I'd rather be beside. I moved back to Swaffham after being away for 10 years and was delighted to see the generator in the skyline.. much better that cooling towers or chimneys.

PAUL DOWDEN, SWAFFHAM

line break.

Wind is an intermittent source of power and the only form of energy generation which we cannot control. If there is no wind, there is no generation; if there is too much wind the turbines must be shut down or they will be blown over. At the moment UK turbines generate only an insignificant trickle - less than 100 MW on average from nearly 50 wind "farms", towards an average demand of about 43,000 MW. So we cannot shut down any power stations in case there is no wind!! A much better way of saving energy,would be to use the government subsidies given to the wind farm industry to insulate homes. There are 1,628,000 houses in the UK with pitched roof and no roof insulation. Saving pollution by insulation is 55 times more cost-effective than saving it by wind turbines!!! Wind turbines DO produce significant amounts of CO2 - they merely do it in advance. Emissions are created during manufacture, transport and erection. So let's think again - estimates suggest that we would would need in excess of 100,000 wind turbines in the UK to supply our energy needs and what happens on a cold and frosty morning when there is no wind!!

NICK SAMPSON, GREAT YARMOUTH

line break.

I cannot understand the general public's alleged hostility to wind farms. The turbines themselves are not so very different from the windmills for which Norfolk is renowned and which are part of Norfolk's identity. They are much less ugly than other kinds of power stations and surely have less negative visual impact than those. Many people choose to have satellite dishes or digital receiver dishes on their houses. A mini-turbine on each house would make a significant, free, easy and clean contribution to the energy consumption of that household. Perhaps if we appealed to people's greed in order to sell the idea of clean energy we'd get further than we do with the standard arguments.

RUTH, NORWICH

line break.

How do we know the energy cost to make a wind turbine is less than the energy that it makes?

ROYDEN, NORWICH

line break.

Before we embark on saving energy through wind turbines,would it not be a better idea to concentrate on building more eco-friendly houses. Would it it not be also sensible to bring our older type property up to scratch with electricity-saving devices.

JOHN KENDALL

line break.

I am writing from the EcoTech Centre in Swaffham, Norfolk, the site of the Ecotricity Wind Turbine mentioned during this discussion. Our own experiences here at EcoTech provide a compelling argument for further wind-power developments.

The Swaffham turbine provided half of the town's domestic electricity when it was built in 1999, and even though the town has grown to such an extent that it now provides a third of the town's need, it still saves the emission of over 3000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (the main 'greenhouse' gas) every year.

In addition, there are many less quantifiable benefits. Three years ago few people in Swaffham knew where their electricity came from. Now they are aware of renewable energy and its importance, and the response to the turbine has been so enthusiastic that the Town Council requested that Next Generation provide a second turbine!

The planning for this development is now underway. However, you could argue that I have a biased view. The best way to evaluate the practical and aesthetic worth of wind turbines is to see them in action, and to this end I would encourage anyone who has an interest in the subject to seek out their nearest wind development. You are all of course welcome to visit the EcoTech Centre where you can actually climb a wind turbine. For further information, or if you have any questions, feel free to call us on 01760 726100, or email info@ecotech.org.uk

JEREMY BONE, SWAFFHAM

line break.

I work in the wind power industry and I'd like to put my views forward. Wind power is the most economical and clean renewable energy that can be developed at the moment. If we are to slow global warming then we need to develop projects like these, regardless of whether they contribute a large or small amount in the overall picture. I often hear 'antis' argue that one turbine makes no impact on global emission. I say one individual person has no impact on global emissions but when you look at the whole global community, then the impacts are vast. The same is true when trying to develop a renewable energy project. One turbine might not individually contribute much to stopping global warming but collectively, a number of turbines will help the fight in the least environmentally damaging way. Every bit counts and this fact should never be lost when projects such as these are being developed!!!

JOHN BARNES, STOCKBRIDGE

I believe that if they built more turbines then less natural resources should be needed to make electricity, and the turbine way is more environmentally friendly.

BARBARA MANLEY, LEYLAND

line break.

I believe that more turbines should be built along the east coast as soon as possible. I can understand the views of the objectors but think that they have their own agenda in the circumstances and should consider themsleves lucky to live in such pleasant places. The generators will not harm their lifestyle and they will get used to it. It is a small price to pay for the benefits the turbines bring.

D HACKETT, LOWESTOFT

line break.

Dennis Azevedo's comments about taking energy from the wind is a valid question but if we look at the science, the percentage of power taken given that they take nothing from above the altitude above them is negligable. I would also suggest that ordinary buildings by getting in the way have more impact. It is time we really adopted wind power on a much larger scale along with other renewables such as solar power, both electric and direct for heating water.

DAVE JACKSON, DOWNHAM MARKET

line break.

We are a Year 4 class at Ysgol Llwyn yr Eos, Penparcau, Aberystwyth. We have been studying wind-farms over the last month and can see some in the distance from our class room window. Although we think it is a pity that they make a noise we think that they are a good thing because they do not use up our oil, coal and gas. We voted 22 children for and 5 children against wind farms.

YEAR 4 CLASS, PENPARCAU, ABERYSTWYTH

line break.

I do not know a single person who has any negative feelings toward the Swaffham wind turbine. I find it a majestic and serene sight and would have no objections to the building of one in my own village It's a shame politics has to prevent the construction of these towers when they can save what is left of our planet's resources.

JOANNE, KING'S LYNN

line break.

I'm interested in the impact that wind farms have on the environment. They are one of the most popular forms of "green energy" but has anyone considered the fact that they take energy from the atmosphere? Have there been any studies as to the effect on local weather patterns, plant growth and other "down stream" affects? If you place a paddle wheel in a stream, you will slow the current. So, it goes to follow that wind farms must actually slow the wind and this must have some effect on areas that we have yet to consider. Wind farming isn't a new industry, but its recent popularization should spawn some research into the negative affects as well as the positive.

DENNIS AZEVEDO, VANCOUVER,
WASHINGTON, USA

line break.

I think these are the best means of power generation available. They need no fuel, do not emit harmful gases or produce (radioactive) waste. The electricity they produce iS as cheap as from gas-fired power stations and cheaper than nuclear power. If more wind farms are built, then we can all look forward to less big power lines criss-crossing the countryside, as electricity will be generated near where it is used. The NIMBYS need to keep this point in mind and should back wind projects in their area instead! I would like to see more wind farms on industrial land and alongside motorways too. This again would reduce the scenescape of grid power lines. I cannot understand why so-called "conservationists" object to wind turbines. They are sleek, quiet structures: They are the 21st century windmill. I wonder where the antis get their claims about noise from: They must be straining to hear any.

ROBERT BATTERSBY, MANCHESTER

line break.

I think the wind farms are great! I had the opportunity to see them this spring while I was visiting friends in Ludham, though not close up. But as we drove along, you became almost mesmerized by the turning of the blades. (No, I was not the one driving at the time!) In no way do I believe that this has "harmed" the exceptional beauty of the Norfolk countryside. Quite the contrary. Maybe the Yanks will take a lesson from you!

LESLIE BOWMAN, STERLING HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN, USA

line break.

It would a reasonable idea that any one living near a wind farm should have a discount off their electricity bills to reflect any inconviece it causes. Regards.

D HUGHES, NORTH WALES

line break.

I love the wind farms we have in Norfolk, they add to the scenery. The one near Winterton-on-Sea is beautiful to watch, very calming and awe-inspiring. I love driving past the Eco-centre at Swaffham. I have to slow down and gawp. It is beautiful and scary almost at the same time. I'll make it up their by the end of the year! We have to find alternatives to fossil fuels and yes it will cost more but you can't have the cheapest things without paying for it in another way. A bit like taxes! And yes I would be very happy to live next to one, with no problems!

RON LUTON-BROWN, NORWICH

line break.

Electrical power generation using wind turbines has been part of the scenic landscape of southern Alberta in Canada for many years. In spite of the vast local reserves of oil and gas, wind power continues to flourish. As for the intrusion of the windmill tower on the skyline, perhaps think of these towers as you would the lighthouses of earlier times. NIMBYs ('not in my back yard') have little to complain about on this issue!

TERRY, ALBERTA, CANADA

line break.

As a regular holiday visitor to Norfolk for the last 30 years I think the wind farms are a great idea, and are a tourist attraction. The Ecocentre at Swaffham is excellent and the wind farm near Winterton is very impressive.

MARION WILLIAMSON, NOTTINGHAM

line break.

So the opponents of wind power are afraid of the effect on the visual amenity of the Norfolk coastline and dear old Bronte country. Well nobody seems to care about the damage the coalfields have caused in the Rhondda Valley or South Yorkshire. It's a small price to pay for fuel and power in the 21st Century. I say "Yes to wind power, and the sooner the better".

GLYN WALDEN, DISS

line break.

As an old Yarmouthian and 'Grammar Grub' I like to think I said it first! If you read page 2 of my web site: www.alan.jarvis1.btinternet.co.uk/index.html you'll see that I've been advocating the Scroby site for wind power generation for many months and showing how far behind other European Countries Britain is in utilising this power source. One thing the Government and the manufacturers haven't yet addressed, though, is whether with blade designs of present day windmills are as efficient as were the old original windmill sails, especially in light winds, or if they are mechanisms based on aeroplane propellors designed to translate engine power into thrust. I wonder if the design boffins have been too beguiled by the likes of Rotol etc.

ALAN JARVIS, SOUTHWOLD

The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external website.

line break.

I think the ideas of having wind farms of the coast of Norfolk is a great idea. I have been to the EcoTech Wind Turbine at Swaffham, and to the ones near Hemsby. They are a great way of producing electricity, without harming the enviroment, why can't wind turbines be build around Norwich, like at the new Park and Rides popping up around the city. At least people will be able to find them a lot easier.

MARTIN PEARCE, NORWICH

line break.

I am pro-wind turbines, but I do think that some reports are misleading as to how much energy is to be produced. Also I find it slightly ironic that in every report they are heralded as a tourist attraction and I wonder if the benefit is going to out weighed by the fossil fuel used travelling to see the sights!

IAN HAMILTON, CAISTER-ON-SEA

line break.

Wind turbines are majestic and elegant, and their ecological credentials are unassailable. Wind farms off the Norfolk coast are therefore highly commendable. The main problem, however, is how to get the electricity from producer to consumer. And the prospect of new lines of pylons over the Norfolk countryside to link to the national grid is perhaps too heavy a cost in aesthetic terms. This is the problem we face and the proponents of alternative energy must address it.

D HARRISON, NORWICH

line break.

The site of the turbines at Winterton is fascinating and for a visitor to Winterton or Swaffham they do look impressive, but if any decision to use them more is going to be taken feedback should be taken from local residents as to how noisy they are and if they find them visibly intrusive after living with them several years. I think we should be developing this technology - but what is the feasibility of locating them offshore on redundant oil platforms or specially constructed platforms - this way visual intrusion would be taken out of the picture. Objections to wind turbines at the sand dunes next to Yarmouth were they would interfere with the seal population. Surely that would be only during construction - they would then come back afterwards.

JIMBO, NORWICH

 


 


 




Talk Norfolk

A Sense of Place

Your travel tales


Skate park

Norfolk nature

Weird Norfolk



Soapbox - whatever you want to say

Clublife

General comments

Find your schoolfriends


Gay Norfolk


Norfolk Dialect

Norfolk traditions

Norfolk expats

Wind farms


Talk to us
What do you think of BBC Norfolk? Share your views or suggest a feature.



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy